Doc DelCastillo will officially resign Thursday as head coach at the University of Alaska.
“With my wife pregnant and expecting our sixth child in August, we felt as a family that the best place for us to be was back in the Midwest where both of our families are,” said DelCastillo Friday morning from his home in Fairbanks, Alaska.
Rumors had circulated regarding his possible resignation as the college hockey world arrived in Denver for the Frozen Four. Speculation was high that the resignation of John Harrington at Division III St. John’s was a factor in this decision, which was unequivocally denied by DelCastillo.
Having known DelCastillo for many years and having coached with him for many summers at the Minnesota Hockey Camps in Nisswa, Minn., I can personally attest how import family is to him. While ecstatic to finally be a head coach at the Division I level, and especially in the CCHA, this is a decision that he made regretfully but also realistically.
“Rumors will always swirl when someone resigns after one season and I am sure this will be no different,” said DelCastillo in a lighter moment of our conversation. “However, bottom line is we as coaches struggle to find that balance between family and career and this is a situation where I want to put my family first, nothing more and nothing less.”
DelCastillo had remarked throughout the season how much he enjoyed Fairbanks, how excited his kids were to be exploring Alaska, and how much he enjoyed the competition in the CCHA as a head coach.
A bright young hockey mind who can appear gruff at times, DelCastillo brought to coaching the same intensity that took him from a nonrecruited walk-on at St. Cloud to the captaincy of the team in four years.
A comparison can be made to Enrico Blasi at Miami, who might not seem like he’s having too much fun at times but underneath the intensity of the job is someone who loves the game, is good at what he does, and has a burning desire to build a program the right way.
DelCastillo will resurface again in college hockey. Where is yet to be determined.
“The bottom line here is this; the University of Alaska gave me a great opportunity to realize a dream and take on the challenge of being a head coach in college hockey. It’s a great school and a great place to be a college hockey player. The administration has been very good to me and my family, just like they have been to [other] hockey coaches that have been here.”